The 2021 US National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) establishes the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) to send a strong signal to the Chinese Communist Party that America is deeply committed to defending its interests in the Indo-Pacific.
The PDI will focus resources on key military capability gaps, reassure US allies, and bolster the credibility of American deterrence in the Indo-Pacific. The bill authorizes a PDI topline of $5.5 billion for FY22, and directs the Secretary of Defense to create a spend plan for these resources, according to a summary of the Fiscal 2021 NDAA bill published by the US Senate Armed Services Committee.
The bill authorizes $1.4 billion for PDI in FY21, including $188.6 million above the budget request for IndoPacific requirements, such as missile defense, enhancing forward posture, and improving interoperability with allies and partners.
It encourages the Air Force to establish an F-35A operating location in the Indo-Pacific quickly to posture ready forces in our priority arena.
The PDI will increase lethality of the Joint Force in the Indo-Pacific, including by improving active and passive defense against theater cruise, ballistic, hypersonic missiles for bases, operating locations, and other critical infrastructure.
It will enhance the design and posture of the Joint Force in the Indo-Pacific by transitioning from large, centralized, and unhardened infrastructure to smaller, dispersed, resilient, and adaptive basing. Increasing the number of capabilities of expeditionary airfields and ports and strengthen alliances to increase capabilities and improve interoperability with a focus on countering (China’s) malign influence.
The massive military projection under the PDI should come as bad news to China which is building islands in the South China Sea as its own, threatening to invade Taiwan and attempting to usurp the maritime rights of countries in the region.